How High Will Spotify’s Paid Subscribership Go? August 10, 2011Posted by Bill Rosenblatt in Business models, Europe, Music, Services, United States.
More on the direct consumer revenue trend: the first set of results of Spotify’s US launch are in, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D. As of earlier this week, only a month into the service’s US presence, Spotify has signed up 1.4 million subscribers, of which 175,000 are paying. At 12.5%, that’s a bit lower than the 15-16% paid subscribership Spotify is enjoying in Europe, but it doesn’t change Spotify’s overall paid-subscriber rate very much.
All Things D’s Peter Kafka points out that the US conversion rate from free to paid is likely to be lower because US subscribers get more free music during the first six months of the US launch than European free subscribers do. But I would also argue that the conversion rate is lower because Spotify is new in the US, and people are just trying it out — many of whom may already subscribe to a competing service such as Rhapsody.
Given that the addressable market for Spotify increased by 150% when it launched in the US (about 150 million Internet users in the seven European countries in which Spotify operates vs. about 220 million in the US), Spotify’s total subscribership could end up in the multiple tens of millions fairly quickly. But to me, the more important question is: given the steep growth in its percentage of paid subscribers, where does that growth stop?
Here’s a poll: